India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded approval last month for the procurement of Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) by the Indian Air Force and the Navy.
The weapon will be procured under the Buy Indian (IDDM) category for an estimated cost of Rs. 970 crore (~USD132 million). DAC also approved procurement of Static HF Tans-receiver sets under IDDM category which will enable seamless communication for the field units of Army and Air Force at an estimated cost of Rs. 540 crore(~USD73 million).
DRDO Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW)
DRDO Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) is a long-range precision-guided anti-airfield weapon currently being developed by India’s state owned defence research agency, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The weapon is a lightweight high precision guided bomb designed to destroy ground targets, such as runways, bunkers, aircraft hangers and other reinforced structures. Weighing 120 kg (260 lb) it has deep penetration capabilities, carries a high explosive warhead and has a standoff range of 100 kilometres (62 mi), which will allow users to strike targets, such as enemy airfields, at a safe distance without putting pilots and aircraft at risk.
SAAW is India’s first fully indigenous anti-airfield weapon, being designed and developed wholly by DRDO. The SAAW is being developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), and other DRDO laboratories in collaboration with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The project was approved by the Indian government in 2013. The first successful test of the weapon was conducted in May 2016.
The SAAW can currently be launched from the IAF’s SEPECAT Jaguar and Sukhoi Su-30MKI aircraft. The Jaguar is capable of carrying six such weapons. There are also plans to integrate the weapon with the Dassault Rafale which recently entered service.